How long do solar lights last?

In a time where most things are disposable, high-quality solar lights stand out in that they are built to last  –– providing value for years after purchase.

Whether you’re in the process of designing an outdoor illumination system for the front of your home, want to spruce up your garden with some quiet ambience, or would like to add some brightness to a walkway, solar lights are a great option to consider to make your dollar go further.

You may be wondering, though –– do solar lights last long enough to be worth the cost? After all, some traditional electric outdoor lighting can seem cheaper. The answer is yes, especially if you take the time to care for them.  

Here we will answer some common questions people have when considering purchasing solar lights, and some tips on how to maximize your solar lights’ lifespan to make them all the more worth it.  

So how long do solar lights last?

Generally speaking, the batteries in outdoor solar lights can be expected to last about 3-4 years before they will need to be replaced. The LEDs themselves can last ten years or more.

You will know that it is time to change parts when the lights are unable to maintain charge to illuminate the area during the night.

There are a few adjustable factors that can also affect the lifespan of your outdoor solar lights.

For one, their placement in relation to other artificial lighting can diminish or enhance their longevity. Make sure that your outdoor solar lights are placed in direct sunlight at a distance from street lighting or house lighting, as too close of a proximity can throw off the sensors that cause them to kick on in low lighting.

Apart from their location, the cleanliness of the solar panels can also be a factor in solar light upkeep. Especially if you have your lights located near a garden or other typically dirty area, be sure to wipe off the panels every other week so that they get sufficient sunlight.

While most lighting systems are designed to withstand various kinds of weather and climates, they function best when they can receive a full day of direct sunlight and are not at risk of being covered in snow or knocked over by severe winds. If you are concerned about the weather at particular times of year affecting your solar lights, consider storing them for these periods.  

How long do solar lights stay lit?

If your outdoor solar lights receive enough sunlight for a full charge (usually about eight hours), they will be able to illuminate all evening, starting when the light gets low, around sunset.

Sometimes lights will stay on longer or shorter, a problem which can usually be attributed to how well the panels are able to absorb the light. Again, checking to make sure that your lights are in the optimum spot (in direct sunlight, away from shadows or covered up by plants) can help ensure they are performing at their best.

If you are concerned that the batteries in your lights are being overused, consider either setting a timer for the lights or turning them off and/or putting them away for some periods of time. You may want to also test a few different locations before deciding on a permanent place for your lights.

Solar light lifespan troubleshooting tips

You may find that in the course of your light’s life, that you encounter some problems with their functioning.

Common problems include the battery dying, weak light due to poor sunlight absorption, or general light malfunction. These issues can likely either be attributed to the age of your solar light or the cleanliness of the solar panels themselves.

If you are having issues with your lights, check the battery and clean off the panels to see if that rectifies the problem before you go looking to purchase new ones.

Get the right solar lights for you

Since solar lights do not use electricity, and last for several years without needing to be replaced, the savings from choosing them over traditional outdoor lighting can quickly prove worth it. Not to mention the better environmental impact!

With the right care and maintenance, you can make sure to maximize the life of your lights so that they illuminate your space while proving their value. As mentioned above, you can anticipate about two years of longevity before the batteries will need replaced, although they may last longer than that. The LEDs themselves often last 10 to 15 years before they burn out.

The two best things you can do to sustain your lights are to choose a great location with direct sunlight, and keep your panels squeaky clean. No matter what project you have cooking up in your home or garden, there are likely outdoor solar lights that will be the perfect fit for you.

Ready to buy? Outdoor Solar Store carries a number of different types of lights for purchase, from lamp posts to spot lights and flood lights, to name a few.

Browse our selection to find the light system you’ve been looking for.

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